One of our Books of the Year 2015.
July 2015 Book of the Month.
‘The Song Collector’ subtly tiptoes under your skin, the first few sentences call to you, draw you in, envelop you… and then it doesn't let you go until the very last page. Fox recollects meeting the love of his life just after the Second World War, while in the present, grieving the death of his wife, his grandson helps him reconnect with music and the world around him. There is a beguiling sense of honesty to the story, it feels as though Fox is seeking peace and reconciliation not only with others, but also with himself. Natasha Solomons has a wonderful ability to connect to thoughts and feelings and bring them to life, make them feel totally and completely real. There aren't any cunning tricks, hidden mysteries or unpredictable events lurking to hijack you, just a beautifully written, special and moving story waiting to be heard. ~ Liz Robinson
Fox, as the celebrated composer Harry Fox-Talbot is known, wants to be left in peace. His beloved wife has died, he's unable to write a note of music, and no, he does not want to take up some blasted hobby. Then one day he discovers that his troublesome four-year-old grandson is a piano prodigy. The music returns and Fox is compelled to re-engage with life - and, ultimately, to confront an old family rift. Decades earlier, Fox and his brothers return to Hartgrove Hall after the war, determined to save their once grand home from ruin. But on the last night of 1946, the arrival of beautiful wartime singer Edie Rose tangles the threads of love and duty, which leads to a shattering betrayal. With poignancy, lyricism and humour, Natasha Solomons tells a captivating tale of passion and music, of roots, ancient songs and nostalgia for the old ways, of the ties that bind us to family and home and the ones we are prepared to sever. Here is the story of a man who discovers joy and creative renewal in the aftermath of grief and learns that it is never too late to seek forgiveness.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
Natasha Solomons tells another poignant tale – this time centring on composer Harry FoxTalbot, known as Fox, whose life’s passion has been for music, and, in particular, collecting songs. We first meet Harry after the death of his beloved wife, Edie, when he has lost his passion for everything, and is unable to compose, or even play the piano. Their story unfolds in flashbacks – we learn how the three Fox-Talbot brothers were intent on saving their once splendid home Hartgrove Hall after the war; how Harry’s music came in the way of him staying there; how Jack’s beautiful girlfriend Edie eventually fell for Harry. In the present day, Harry’s daughters Clara and Lucy are trying to cajole him from his profound sadness and get him to engage in life again. Then one day, looking after his hyperactive four-year-old grandson, he discovers the boy’s genius for the piano, which is the impetus he needs. This is a lovely tale well told – a perfect holiday read.
PRAISE FOR MR ROSENBLUM'S LIST:
'Almost irritatingly impressive ... she strikes the perfect note with simple, evocative metaphors. I was forced to accept that this was a rare treat; a debut novel that is pretty much flawless.
'The light yet poignant tone makes for an unusual, richly comic novel... a treat of a book.' Guardian
'Sprinkled with a hint of magic, this debut is a delight.' Daily Mail
PRAISE FOR THE NOVEL IN THE VIOLA:
'A deeply touching and blissfully romantic elegy for a lost world.' The Times
'A vivid and poignant story about hope, loss and reinvention' Psychologies
Publication date: 02/07/2015
Publisher: Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||2nd July 2015|
|Publisher:||Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
Natasha Solomons is the author of the bestselling Mr Rosenblum's List and The Novel in the Viola, which was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club. Natasha Lives in Dorset with her son and her husband with whom she also writes screenplays. Her novels have been translated into 17 languages. Author photo © David SolomonsMore About Natasha Solomons